Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen scored power-play goals early in the first period, helping the Colorado Avalanche end a six-game slide with a 6-1 win over the Rangers on Friday night.
Gabriel Landeskog added a goal off his right skate, Alexander Kerfoot tipped in a shot, Rantanen deflected in yet another and Ryan Graves closed out the scoring with his first career NHL goal as a struggling Avalanche squad won for the first time since Dec. 19.
Colorado finished 3 of 10 on the power play, with two of the goals scored following a 5-minute boarding call on former Avalanche player Cody McLeod just 2 1/2 minutes in.
Philipp Grubauer made 24 saves, including one on a penalty shot by Jimmy Vesey late in the third.
Ryan Strome scored the Rangers’ lone goal midway through the third period on a night they were outshot by a 47-25 margin. Alexandar Georgiev attempted to keep things close while giving Henrik Lundqvist a night off. Lundqvist was pulled Wednesday after allowing six goals in a loss to Pittsburgh.
Tyson Barrie had three assists to give him 278 career points, the most by a defenseman in franchise history. Barrie broke the mark held by John-Michael Liles.
After the morning skate, the Avalanche reiterated over and over the importance of a fast start to break out of their 0-4-2 skid.
This helped their cause: Going on the power play early when McLeod slammed the face of defenseman Samuel Girard into the glass on a big hit. MacKinnon scored on a high wrist shot over Georgiev’s glove at 4:40, with Rantanen adding another 2:13 later when his pass went in off the stick of Rangers defenseman Neal Pionk.
Colorado was getting all the bounces, with Landeskog knocking in a goal with his right skate midway through the second period. The Avalanche led 5-0 in the third before Strome ended Grubauer’s shutout bid on a breakaway.
Graves scored his first career goal following a rebound in the third. He was selected by the Rangers in the fourth round of the 2013 draft, before being dealt to Colorado last February.